Dearbh O’Hare – The Fierce Phoenix

Three little words, no one wants to hear.

Those three little words that can strike such fear.

First come the scans and waiting for the answer.

Then you hear those three words; “You’ve. Got. Cancer”.

My body goes numb and the room goes so quiet.

As laid out before me is the fight of my life.

Weighed down with appointments and a whole new vocab.

…Taxotere, carboplatin, perjeta, trastuzumab.



An emotional rollercoaster, complete with its turns and its twists.

And a host of nasty side effects, longer than Santa’s naughty list!

More surgeries and results, another nerve wracking wait.

Keep the head down. Keep calm. And try keeping the faith.

Some welcome hair regrowth, as I ditch the cold cap.

Will I need radiotherapy for that reassuring extra zap?

One year on, I’m still very much here and alive.

Not only that, I fully intend to Thrive!

Logging on each week to a safe space for us Thrivers to vent.

Col even admitting to the odd “Snaxident”!

We are now armed with a “tool box” that would make Bob the Builder blush!

And a bottom shelf in the fridge, that no longer turns to mush!

Weekly “action plans” are formed, with pledges to squeeze in more fruit.

Amid the chants of “What’s that you said there, I think your mic is on mute!”

With all the promises we make, to eat greens with each meal,

And at the rate we are all walking, we will have buns made of steel!

Lots of tips shared, to help with emotions and decision making.

Along with a prescription, for some weekly nature bathing.

Liam assures all that following the food pyramid becomes easier.

As I daydream of future holidays and visiting the pyramids in Giza!

Six short weeks later, us Thrivers wish it was longer.

Swapping our red wine for water, we each vow to Come. Back. Stronger.

So we round up the course, by each writing a letter.

A nice way to finish and to “look good and feel better”!

When times are hard and things are particularly rough…

Just Breath. Be kind to yourself. Remember…You. Are. Enough.

So pull up your fighting pants ladies,

And straighten up that crown.

Let’s rise from the ashes

And be the Fiercest Phoenix in town.